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tv   Deadline White House  MSNBC  June 25, 2021 1:00pm-3:00pm PDT

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as we move in this time that we're in. the courts have spoken and no one will be totally satisfy. the judge gave out 22 1/2 years to derek chauvin and that's closure to that case. the real story will continue as we move towards rehe form. >> cedric alexander, thank you for your insight and your analysis on that. it has been a historic hour, 22 1/2 years, former police officer derek chauvin, sentenced to prison. i'll see you back here next week. "deadline white house" with nicolle wallace after this break. hi, everyone. it's 4:00 in the east. we are picking up the coverage of breaking news from just a couple minutes ago. the decision from the judge delivering a sentence of 22 1/2 years in prison with 199 days
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already served for ex-minneapolis police officer derek chauvin. chauvin, of course, convicted in april for the murder of george floyd, a crime that rocked the country and ignited an unprecedented movement for racial justice across this country. the sentencing comes after more than an hour of testimony in the courtroom including emotional remarks from george floyd's brothers asking the judge for the full sentence and closure. >> for me and my family we seek the maximum penalty. we don't want to see no more slaps on the wrist. we've been through that already. >> my family and i, most of all my niece gianna -- my niece gianna, she needs closure. i'm asking that you please find it suitable to give officer
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chauvin the maximum sentence possible charge that he has been found guilty for. >> joining us now host of politics nation and president of the national action network reverend al sharpton, your reaction? >> well, i think that clearly the judge did not give all that the family and those of here with the family wanted but gave a lot more than what the defense asked for, 22 1/2 years. is certainly above the probation the defense asked for and sends an incomplete message but a message of accountability. the family will be coming out and joining me here in a few minutes to give direct answers but our initial response is
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clearly the judge did not lessen the gravity of what this jury's verdict was by giving probation and he went above the 15-year base that the sentencing guidelines gave. we'll have more to say at the press conference as the family is coming out. thank you. >> thank you, rev. picking up our coverage here just moments ago judge cahill speaking to the page of the family. our colleague, the reverend al sharpton, out there today with the family and previewing for us they will be making public remarks shortly. we will, of course, take those as soon as they happen. i want to bring into our conversation, a distinguished professor at vanderbilt university and former u.s. attorney chuck rosenberg. professor dyson, your reaction? >> yeah, well, i agree with reverend sharpton it is certainly disappointing in the sense that the judge did not
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give the full extent of punishment to mr. chauvin, but he certainly did suggest that this sentence would be adjudicated according to rational principles and defensible legal ideals and not emotion. you know what strikes me, though, miss nicolle, is the fact black people have to bear the brunt of white rage, of white hostility. i, myself, the other day -- let me apologize on this program. i was trying to be cute and clever when i was talking about maga, not maggots. i didn't anticipate people would hear it as that. i deeply and profoundly apologize for that. i have been hit with an onslaught of death threats and called the "n" word out of rage for a mistake i made for which i am willing to apologize certainly. what black people often are up against is we have to be told that emotion will not judge,
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will not lead our offering of justice. emotion will not drive or a statement to be made to the american people will not drive what we do legally. and yet so much emotion is at us, hatred directed at us. and when it comes time to reciprocate, i'm not suggesting the legal system should offer an emotional, empathetic ruling, i'm saying that law itself can justifiably support african-american interests and black people's interests in the case without being said to have been an emotional decision. no, we're not going to have emotion or the heartfelt stuff, we'll stick to the principles and the rules. that bifurcation between rationality and emotionality is what often damns people in this country. it is allowed to operate at its height while black people's
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justice seems to be subverted. i am gratified the judge did not merely slap him on the wrist and found himself somewhere in the middle of that, but i don't think we can dismiss the other implications about rationality and emotionality. >> i just want to ask you because people -- what you say has such resonance. are people looking to you as a bellwether how to feel? how should they feel today? >> well, look, they should feel torn. they should feel sad, grief stricken that a black man lost his life and that his life has been judged to be worth about 22 1/2 years. they should be saddened by the fact the recurrence of black death, the trauma of the repeat of black death has to exist at
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such a heightened level for even the minimal principles of justice to be applied. so that's sad. on the other hand, they should feel more determined than ever to move forward. this decision, while not at the top level of full execution of justice on behalf of george floyd in the eyes of his family and other supporters is at least a step in the right direction. and so we can't have perfection. we can't have the ideal, but we can strive for the perfection and ideal of american society and democracy and for justice to be done in this society. so we should feel torn, grief stricken but should also feel hopeful that what we do here today, what we do out in the streets what we do in the courtrooms must continue, that many of our ancestors got far worse news than we have ever received and so we must not get
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down into what was called and be depressed, sad, yes, but not depressed, and determined to keep moving forward in the larger push for justice in this nation. >> i was thinking as the rev was talking about the family coming out. the family has been so generous with their willingness to be public, to grieve in public, including, you know, his daughter, who has become a parmt of this president, president biden met her, talks about her, talks about the need for the george floyd police reform act. i wonder if you could say something about what this family has given. this is the george floyd movement. the proposed legislation is the george floyd legislation. when you talk about how people should feel and what they should do next it is because of this family's willingness to grieve publicly and to speak out and to be part of this movement.
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>> yes, i'm so glad you emphasized that, nicolle. look at the dignity, look at the eloquence, look at the plain spoken honesty, the beauty of spirit those people exhibited today. look at his daughter. look at his brother and brothers, look at his family members. they were so well composed, crying, grieving, but nonetheless standing up in the face of such brutal disregard for their brother's life and the reminder of that. and hearing his mother, god bless her, that is mr. chauvin's mother, say that she would not be able to talk to him and speak to him as she wanted and she would stay strong and we cannot begrudge her a moment's expression of that. it would have been good had she expressed some sympathy and empathy for the family that lost their loved one to reach out and say, look, i know that my
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inability to speak to my son for 20 years or i'll speak to him but not freely, pales in comparison to those who lost their loved one. the floyd family showed the dignity in the face of trauma and those who have been called upon to serve this nation, to save this nation and to continue to show it the way to the ideals it says it embraces, democracy, freedom, justice and truth. they have begin the last ounce and measure of sacrifice by their loved one losing his life for the world to see and sharing that sacrifice with the rest of us. they weren't begrudging others who used george floyd's dead body as a living call for justice in this nation. they were willing to share their loved one in the large geography of grief and death so that a
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greater cause could be served and a greater witness to truth could be made. they are remarkable human beings. you can imagine the trauma of death, the loss of their loved one, a little girl whose father will not be able to share with her each night is an incalculable loss. >> i want to talk about this family more because everything you described is how this family has been since the earliest moments when we first met them and certainly over the last year but i want to add to our conversation our colleague chuck rosenberg. chuck, you had, i know, sort of expected a serious, significant sentence. is this in line with what you expected and what are your thoughts about the 22 1/2-year sentence for derek chauvin? >> it is in line with what i expected, nicolle, and maybe i can give you context to help explain that. the law starts with a floor,
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zero years in jail, and a ceiling, 40 years in jail. and people latch on to those two things but that's not really how sentencing works, not in minnesota, not in most states and not in the federal system. we have guidelines which tell you on average what the average defendant should get. i don't think derek chauvin is the average defendant and i'll explain in a moment. the whole idea behind the guidelines is to reduce disparity so person "a" in rochester, minnesota, and person "b" in duluth commit the same crime, have a similar history, they should be sentenced in roughly the same way. and so rough lip the same way for second-degree murder on average pursuant to the minnesota sentencing guidelines is about 12 1/2 to 15 years. that's your average case. what the prosecution did here and what the judge evidently found is there are a number of aggravating circumstances that say 12 1/2 to 15 years isn't
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enough. i'm not going to go to the ceiling. i'm not going to go to 40 but i will add on more time because derek chauvin abused the position of trust, because he acted with particular cruelty, because he committed the offense with others, because the offense was committed in front of children, i'm going to go up. i'm going to depart, essentially, from the average case of 12 1/2 to 15 years and this second-degree murder defendant, though he has no criminal record, will get 22 1/2 years. completely appropriate. >> i want to go to minnesota attorney general's press conference. >> witness to george floyd's suffering and torture and came forward a year later to testify about what they saw and to the floyd members themselves and
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their counsel, we say thank you. the lives of everyone who saw what happened to george flied forever changed. my hope for derek chauvin is that he uses his long sentence to reflect on the choices he made may 25, 2020. mi hope is that he will find it within himself to acknowledge the impact of his choices on george floyd, his family, his fellow police officers and the world. my hope is that he takes the time to learn something about the man whose life he took and the movement that rose up the call for justice in the wake of george floyd's torture and death. today is also an important moment for our country. the outcome of this case is critically important but by itself it's not enough.
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my hope for our country is this moment gives us pause and allows us to rededicate ourselves to the real societal change that will move us much further along the road to justice. i'm not talking about the kind of change that takes decades but real change, concrete change that real people can do now. i'm talking to lawmakers. at this historic moment there is so much legislation around the country in city councils, county boards, state legislatures in congress that is still waiting to be passed. if these bills were passed, they would make the deaths at the hands of law enforcement officers less likely, would improve police community relations, would restore trust and, therefore, cooperation, improve the lives of officers who want to protect and serve and make everyone safer.
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every one of these bills at every level of government is critical for helping our families, our law enforcement officers, communities, and the country heal. above all, congress has still not passed the george floyd justice and policing act. i call on leaders and members of congress to pass the best and strongest version of this bill that can be passed and to pass it now. president biden called on the congress to pass this bill. it must be passed. lives are depending upon it. it's just that simple. i'm speaking now to law enforcement leaders. at this historic moment law enforcement leaders are in a position to finally put in place policy, training mechanisms and accountability that can build a police department the people can really trust and rely on. and the elected leaders that they answer to must support and
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empower these law enforcement leaders to do it. where there is distrust between community and police there is less cooperation between community and police. and in a moment where violent crime is spiking across the nation, we simply cannot afford the distrust. this system leaves us all a little less safe. trust and cooperation must be earned. you cannot clean a dirty wound by bringing accountability in law enforcement, you actually promote public safety. i say to those law enforcement leaders, make no mistake, this is something your officers are asking for. in the aftermath of george floyd's death, 14 minneapolis police department officers signed an open letter condemning derek chauvin's actions and embracing the call for reform and change.
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these 14 officers don't only speak for themselves, they speak for hundreds across the country. these officers and ones like them want you to support officers who treat everyone with dignity and respect. they want to you support officers who are taking risks to speak up and demand that we do better. they want to you hold their colleagues accountable who refuse to serve communities with dignity and respect. why do officers want accountability? well, think of the 9-year-old girl wearing a t-shirt that said love across the front who witnessed george floyd's murder and how she will feel 20 years from now as she may be speaking to her own children about whether to trust law enforcement. the damage is undermining the ability for people to trust, and that is very tragic. it's not fair to judge all police officers by derek
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chauvin's actions, but some people inevitably will generalize unless there is true accountability. you just can't heal a dirty wound. and when there's little trust, sadly, there's little safety. when law enforcement leaders take clear steps to build in accountability and prioritize wellness for their officers, they will have the officers' respect, trust between officers and the people, they are dedicated to protecting and serving. let me speak to prosecutors. we believe and we state and declare that no one is botch the law and no one is beneath it. a police officer is not above the law and george floyd certainly is not beneath the law. after a thorough review, prosecutors believe they have probable cause that anyone, including someone operating with the authority of law and law enforcement, has violated the law, our prosecutors must be vigorous, visible, and swift.
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i am speaking to community now. we need every community member to continue the call for real reform and meaningful change. peacefully, constructively, but clearly this is a moment for change and your call for it is making it happen. this means everyone who wants to live in a society with dignity and respect as core values, everyone who wants to be safe on the street and at home, everyone who wants to get the help that they need, everyone who wants their loved ones to get home safely. what will happen if we don't do it? we will slip deeper into a century long cycle of inaction. we can and we must make another choice. the choice to break the cycle of inaction, to act for accountability and justice, the choice to transform ourselves
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and our country, for all the lives that have been lost, for the sake of the terrible sacrifice that is too many families like the floyds have had to make and for the same of the many officers who strive to serve and protect with dignity and honor and high standards and for the sake of the community. it's time to act. we're counting on you. we're counting on each other. finally i want to thank this extraordinary team of prosecutors. it has been my deepest honor to work with you. you all are the best and i'm honored be to be your colleague. i want to send another strong signal of love and friendship to the floyd family. who have done so much to uphold the dignity of our community. i want to thank the hennepin county office who have done such a good job, and we appreciate their work. and i want to thank the witnesses who courageously stepped forward for george floyd
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on may 25th at risk to themselves and came back a year later to testify about what they saw. and, lastly, i want to thank the community for making the call for justice. that's it. thank you very much. >> attorney general ellison there using his moment to urge passage of the george floyd police reform saying this, end the cycle of inaction. do it for the families, law enforcement and making the statement that time is up. professor dyson, your thoughts? >> i think that he's absolutely right. he acknowledged the necessity to address this in a legally responsible fashion. the judge was loathe to send a message, understandably so, as
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an arbiter and as a prosecutor i think mr. ellison is speaking on behalf of the people of minnesota and speaking more particularly on behalf of george floyd's family. in the interests of all of those, time is up, time to address these issues across the board. we know this is but a small index of a larger overture towards really reckoning in a conclusive fashion with these injustices that have mercilessly piled up. so i think if we have more attorneys general and more prosecutors and d.a.s like mr. ellison we would be in a far better situation in this country to address the systemic
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inequities that prevail in our legal system. >> i want to tell our viewers two things. we are going to hear from the floyd family very shortly. we are waiting for them to make their way to the microphones. we are also waiting for a live report from our colleague nbc's meagan fitzgerald who is in george floyd square for us. let's just watch this picture for a moment. we don't want to miss any of this. this is the floyd family. making their way to the press conference, mentioned for all of us a few moments ago. let me bring in meagan fitzgerald who is in george floyd square. >> reporter: we've been here watching as people were waiting for the sentence to come down,
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very emotional. this square, as we've said, has reopened to foot traffic and to cars to come through here. but still the sentiment remains the same. just behind me here this is the location of where george floyd died. and so it was important for people to come here today, to be here for what many people call closure. they wanted to just understand how this was going to end. obviously they were rejoicing in the streets here when derek chauvin was convicted on all three charges and today they said they wanted him to get the maximum sentence, 30 years. it was in this parking lot, now that's turned into more of the memorial here. this is where people were gathered watching on their phones waiting to hear what the sentencing was going to be. and there was some disappointment here. some people wanting him to get the maximum sentence. but another person said, look, 22 1/2 years is something. it does send a message that black people, as she said, can't be killed by police and for the
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police to just get away with it. certainly a lot of mixed emotions. emotions still running high, nicolle. >> i saw your live shot from a few moments ago and there were more people there. did they go to try to watch this press conference? did they mostly disperse? where did they go? >> reporter: you know, some people wanted to go watch the press conference, and they were asking if george floyd's family would be coming here. and other people just kind of made their way and went back to their house. every time we speak with people there's always different reasons for people being here. they say this area here is sacred ground. it's an opportunity for them to remember george floyd's life. coming here is so real to them because as the nation watched that video, that 9:29. it's certainly hard to describe when you're here in the exact location where that happened. and so it was important for people to come here today to be here and to show support not only to george floyd but for his
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family, nicolle. >> thank you so uch for your reporting from the scene of the crime, the crime for which officer derek chauvin was sentenced to 22 1/2 years. as we wait for the family to speak -- let's see if they're getting under way. let's listen in. >> the comments earlier this family has been so public, you can almost see recognizable faces as they figure out who will speak first, tragically they have been through these public rituals so many times. >> it's absolutely right and the repetition of that ritual is ever more grievous to them but
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in spite of that they continue to elevate, they continue to articulate noble principles and aspirations after which we should all strive and they remind us in the face of such hurt and pain they've managed to be dig ni be digfied and courteous at the same time. >> dante wright is with us. this verdict and this sentencing is the longest sentence we've seen but it is not justice because george floyd is in a grave tonight even though chauvin will be in jail. so let us not feel we're here to celebrate because justice would have been george floyd never have been killed. justice would have been the maximum. we got more than we thought only because we have been
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disappointed so many times before. 22 1/2 years is longer than we've ever got but shorter than what we should have gotten in the past. let us remember a man lost his life. this is not a prayer of celebration, it's a prayer that thank god forgiven the strength of the family and activists who stayed in the streets to make sure the court did what they had to do what's right. let me repeat for those in the back because those are the ones that marched, that this is the longest sentence they've ever given, but it is not justice. justice is george floyd would be alive. >> amen. >> justice is that they would have been doing this. had they done sentences like this before, maybe chauvin would not have thought he would have gotten away with it. >> that's right. >> so let us remember the people
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that you castigated and attacked that marched in minneapolis and that we marched all over this country that wouldn't stop and we're not going to stop. one sentence does not solve a criminal justice problem. the united states senate must show the same courage this jury showed and hold police accountable for murder and make them pay in the court of law maximum for murder. not a token. not a donation but full accountability for the actions that you did. let us pray. >> amen. >> dear god, we come to the same spot we bowed at the beginning of the trial asking you to give this family strength and give
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them grace, and you brought us now to the end of this particular proceeding. they will say it is more time than any time in history but we will say that history has been long underserving its citizens. >> yes. >> and we humbly thank you for giving this family the strength to stand where other families didn't even get a court date. >> yes. >> we remember eric garner in today, we remember michael brown, jacob blake who is still with us. we remember tamir rice on his birthday, 19 years old would have been today. we remember breonna taylor. they never got a court date. >> never. >> we did get a court date, a conviction, and some time. >> amen. >> some will say that's progress. i will say as malcolm x said if you have a knife in my back 6
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inches to take out 4 inches is progress but i still have 2 inches of knife in my back. the knife is still in our back as long as these unresolved cases are there. and the floyd family and those of us in the civil rights community and activist community will not stop until justice becomes a matter of federal law and no longer a news story but the story that we know will follow. touch that u.s. senate to see that they must make law so that we will not have little children like george's daughter had to give a judge a statement about the value of her daddy, but they understand that all of your children matter. yes, black lives matter because you made us all, and we'll be careful to be loyal and we'll be careful to live up to the calling you've placed on the
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lives of those that serve and careful to give your name the praise. these blessings we ask in your name, amen. >> amen. let me bring on now it's been a long journey and this is not the end. this is just one stop on the highway toward full justice. none has been more courageous, none has been more consistent, one has not been more unselfish than the attorney general of black america who has stood with this family from day one. came even when the cameras weren't there and has stayed with the family and other families. let us bring -- before we bring members of the family, attorney ben crump. >> thank you. thank you very much, reverend al sharpton, for leading this family and this country in prayer as we continue to struggle to make the words of
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liberty and justice for all real in america. i stand here with a great legal team standing firmly with the family of george floyd, that is attorney chris stewart and attorney justin miller from atlanta, georgia, attorney from chicago, illinois, and attorney jeff storms from right here in minneapolis. and at present we have the brothers of george floyd, terrance floyd and rodney floyd as well as brandon williams. we have his cousins charita tate and we know at home we have his sisters bridget floyd and latonya floyd and certainly his beautiful daughter chris tells me is looking, smiling, saying
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that her daddy changed the world and he will talk more about that later. and we want to acknowledge all of his family. we want to acknowledge all of the people who used their voice to say his name. say his name! >> george floyd. >> say his name! >> george floyd. >> say his name! >> george floyd. >> today represents an opportunity to be a turning point in america. this is the longest sentence that a police officer has ever been sentenced to in the history of the state of minnesota. but this should not be the exception when a black person is killed by brutality by police, it should be the norm. >> that's right.
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>> and so when we think about real justice, real justice would be so that george floyd could still be here with his family. what we got today was some measure of accountability, and we understand that there are still federal charges pending. so as his brothers and his family asked for the maximum, we're still holding out for the maximum. we have to remember real justice in america will be black men and black women and people of color who do not have to fear being killed by the police just because of the color of their skin. >> that's right. >> that will be real justice. so we thank most of all the millions of americans who raised their voice. you all raised up your voices,
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and because you raised your voices, that is why we got the guilty conviction, and that is why we got the longest sentence in the state of minnesota history. so on behalf of the floyd family, we want to say thank you to millions of americans who all said until we get justice for george floyd, until we get accountability for george floyd, none of us can breathe. we can breathe just a little easier today, and we thank you for that. >> we've got your back! >> thank you all. and i will say this, we have accountability on the several side thanks to the leadership of the city leaders of minnesota. we now have gotten some
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accountability at the criminal level. but we need accountability on the policy level. so we say to the united states senate pass the george floyd justice and policing act immediately! immediately! immediately! at this time i give you one of the finest attorneys in the united states of america. i have had the pleasure of being with a team of lawyers, reverend al, who are second to none. and each of them worked tirelessly day and night from every corner of america working on behalf of george floyd's family. and there is no way we could get to this point where we had on this journey to justice without all our brothers and sisters,
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madeline simmons, michelle, all of those, scott peters, all of them who are working, scott madison. they allowed us to come out front to be with the family today, but they are not forgotten. and i know my brother in the bar who just did wonderful things in louisiana with sterling, chris stewart, appreciates each and every one of the lawyers on our team. at this time you're going to hear from attorney chris stewart and attorney justin miller. >> first, let me start by saying roxie and gianna couldn't be here but right now are watching, watching live. so let me tell you, you've done two things in this case. you started by saying my daddy changed the world. i want you to know you changed the world. because today that statement
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that you gave was not just powerful but it was prophetic. you told us that his spirit is still here. and people that are doubting, people that are looking at these monuments coming up and the statutes coming up, aren't understanding that his spirit is changing things. it doesn't matter who the man was. it matters who he is now. there are conversations happening between black and white that never would have happened before about policing. there are conversations happening between senators that we are pushing and urging to stand up for what you believe in. if you believe in law and order and change, then you will pass this bill because it protects everyone. nelson mandela once said if you change what you believe depending on who you are talking to, you are not fit to lead. >> that's right. amen. >> we are looking for leadership. we are looking for the spirit of journal floyd, which is in every single person now. we're getting off the sidelines and realizing if you critique policing, it doesn't mean you hate every cop. it means you want the bad cops
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gone. and we only will change things by leaving the sidelines and coming together in the middle no matter what color you are. and that is the spirit of george floyd and, yes, gianna has changed the world. it's been an honor and a privilege standing up for this family. it's just been an honor. >> first and foremost, i would like to say to the family, my condolences, my prayers for my family and from everyone in atlanta, from scott masterson, madeline simmons, the law firm who put in a lot of work to help us get to where we are today. thank you to the family. i know mr. chauvin's mother didn't have any words for the family but we do and innope you do. so to the family i say my condolences and i'm sorry and we love you. we love you because this is what it's about, first and foremost, love. the second thing i'll say is this. until things like this are not
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national news, we haven't made it. we're still in the same place that we were 20 years ago and 30 years ago. we are all here talking about something that everybody sitting right here knew what should have happened. we knew from day one he murdered george floyd. we all saw it. >> amen. >> but we had to go through this for a year to get to this point where this family can have some modicum, some amount of closure. a year. so i'll say this. until black and brown people in this country can get closure, can depend on the justice system, can know that when someone murders somebody in broad daylight that they're going to be held accountable, we have a lot of work to do. and i will say to all of you people, all you activists, you people fighting from day one, keep working. keep pushing. keep fighting. keep fighting. because we have a lot of work to do in atlanta, georgia, and in brookline, minnesota.
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brooklyn center, minnesota. i'm sorry. and in new york city. and in kenosha, wisconsin. and in north carolina. and in los angeles, california. >> chicago. >> in texas and chicago. we have work to do. so keep pushing. this is a victory, and we're going to celebrate it as a victory. but it's one small step and we have a lot more to go. so thank you guys for being with us through all of this. thank you for loving this family and pass the george floyd justice in policing act asap. asap. >> amen. >> and now before we get to the family some great lawyers from chicago, illinois, one of the best civil rights lawyers in america, and a great lawyer who hails right here in minnesota, i mean, without him giving us the lay of the land, laes no way we would have been able to achieve
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what we have accomplished. >> good afternoon, everyone. what we saw today was the final graph intersected. the perfect apex now between civil justice and criminal justice. what we now have today we have proof that black lives matter, that they are valuable and that when you violate policies, you're going to pay and you're going to pay a lot of money. and when you violate the law, you're going to get prosecuted and you're going to go to jail and you're going to go to jail for a long time. and those two lines crossed today. and george floyd now equals justice on both civil and criminal. but the job isn't over.
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it's not over until we go state to state. reverend al, ben, you all said it so eloquently. we must have the george floyd police reform bill passed. >> amen. >> if that doesn't get passed, our justice could fall. the graph could fall. we need justice all over america. we want justice for george floyd. the floyd family, we continue to love you. we always will. we'll always be a part of your lives. but there are so many other families that are here today that are also suffering and require that same justice, civil and criminal. that's what matters most. thank you all. >> thank you. >> not a lot to say that hasn't been said, but as the local minnesota lawyer, i just want us to remember that we need all of you. we need the media. we need the activists. because the second we turn
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around and leave, we have to go back and ask ourselves how do we get more justice for george floyd? how do we get justice for dante wright? how do we get justice for winston smith? how do we get justice for the many families here who are fought for by people, and without all of you, we don't have the energy for that fight right here. we need you all to keep turning out, and we appreciate it because it's allowed the floyd family to get the most historic justice we've ever seen, but it's not enough. >> amen. >> thank you. >> it's not enough. >> and as we get ready to bring up the floyd family, i will be remiss if brandon as we heard
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the sentence whispered in my ear, i got a text from breonna taylor's mother congratulating us on getting some justice, the justice she never got. >> that's right. >> and i have to tell you, reverend al, as derek chauvin's mother was standing up there making her comments, i thought of tameka palmer, breonna taylor's mother. and so it's not enough until we get justice for all of our people who have been killed unjustly. i think -- yeah. breonna taylor is with us. right now we're going to have you hear from some of the floyd family members. you've come to know him. he has been speaking at the u.s.
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congress, to the united nations and everywhere saying that we demand justice for my big brother george floyd. he sounds like a politician, reverend al, philonise. >> i find it profound that i felt that -- i begged for justice for my brother, some type of accountability. the treatment i thought everybody should receive is just life. you can't get that back. we all live together in this world, and we all want to be able to work together in this world. tough good police officers and you have bad ones. the fact that you shouldn't have
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to sort them out, the community that i grew up in was a lot of african-american people. but the fact that minnesota has a greater amount of caucasian people i still think everybody should be the same, everybody should be neutral, everybody should want to make a difference and make sure that people when they come to minnesota don't think of george floyd. they should be able to think how great minnesota is. not thinking of castille. thinking of dante wright. many families i had to console. you think of anthony maclean. he was killed. all of these people were shot in the back, most of them. i'm still here and still standing and over a year later still speaking and speaking out
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times are hard. i wake up every day and we don't see my brother. empty seats all around the house he would have been in. she cannot have him walk her down the aisle. she will not be able to have prom with the daddy dance. this is not manager realistic. this is something is like a dream but we all need to stand up for what is right. all these activists and all these advocates, i thank you all. definitely i thank you all because if you all didn't speak out, we wouldn't have had a lot of help. the fact the world, you have to think about japan, germany. you have to think united
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nations. you have to think italy. i have so many different people i spoke to, africa, all around the world an they all think the same way. your skin color should not define who you are. >> amen. >> it should never be a weapon. the fact that we're here standing today, still breathing, we're still fighting. reverend al always say keep fighting. that's something i can't stop. i want to tell miss carl, i love you. i know it's hard. that's eric garner's mom. i know it's hard. i want to tell pamela turner, that's baytown, texas. this is not okay. her daughter is walking around and i know she's in tears every day thinking about her mother. her mother was killed point blank range, shot multiple times. so many different people all around the world who didn't even
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have this type of technology, i just want to reiterate, not just black lives matter, all lives matter. we need to stand up and fight. can't get comfortable because when you get comfortable, people forget about you. >> amen. george is not here but the spirit still leaves here. eric garner is not here but spirit still right here. i want all you all to stand up and fight. thank you all so much. >> next, we're going to have another brother of george who came all the way from new york, brooklyn, new york. as we introduce him, it's not lost on us as attorneys talk,
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it's always a journey to justice. tony told me laquan mcdonald e the police officer that killed him shot him 14 times in the back on video, 16 times in the back on video and he was convicted of second-degree murder and he was only sentenced to six years. botham jones who in dallas, texas was killed in his own apartment. the white police officer woman amber guyger was found guilty of first-degree murder and only sentenced to ten years. justin miller, walter scott in south carolina, same conviction, shot in the back, on video, convicted 20 years. each step, each case we keep
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making progress. we came too far to stop now. we have to keep going forward and that's why all the energy we have in this courtroom, we have to take the capitol hill and we have to join senator cory booker, join congresswoman karen bass. senator tim scott, we got to say we need meaningful police reform so we don't have to put up with these injustices. seem like every other week there's a new hashtag. we can stop this. we're at the turning point. terrance floyd, brooklyn new york. >> let he hear you say change. >> change. >> let me hear you say change. >> change. >> that's right. like i heard you say change all together. that's how we will keep the change going together.
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keep fighting. the way we got here is because of our fight an your fight together. we thank you for y'all and i'm overwhelmed. i'm overwhelmed. i'll tell you a quick story. i had a dream the other night. i was in a field in the south. i was with my family. i looked back and i saw a man, i saw man coming up, walking, walking. i'm trying to figure out who is that. i look, he gets closer. all of a sud season i see the hat cocked to side like this. anybody that know me know that is. that's my father. he got close to me and he gave me a smile and a hug. i woke up, that dream was so real, i woke up hugging myself. i knew -- i was a little --
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leary about the sentencing but i knew my father was saying, you good. he's good. keep doing what you doing, for me, for your brother, for your name. we floyd strong. we going to stay strong. >> yeah. thank you. >> well said. thank you, terrance. next we'll hear from the nephew of george floyd who is like a brother -- like a son in many regards to him. brandon williams. >> it's funny that we got justice but not enough justice. i remember standing here the first day of trial in this very same spot and we were very optimistic and unsure of what would happen. after seeing the video, we
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should have been 100% sure that we would be at a guilty conviction with maximum sentence. when you think about george being murdered in cold blood with a knee on his neck for 9:29, execution style in broad daylight, 22 and a half year is not enough. we were served a life sentence. we can't get george bade. gianna can't hug george again. he will be able to hug his family, possibly and see his family again. we can't get george back. in retrospect, i feel he should receive the life sentence as well. what kind of message are you sending to our country? what kind of message are you sending to the younger kids like gianna that you can kill a plan in cold blood and get a slap on the wrist. that's like a slap in the face to all of us standing up here and everybody around the world who feel what we feel and saw the video. i won't celebrate this.
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i won't celebrate it at all but i will celebrate a guilty conviction on a police officer that killed a black man because far too many times we see them kill us and get away with it. i will celebrate this as a victory for many tameka palmer who i'm very close with. i hope the attorney out of kentucky can charge the cops who killed breonna tailor. there are some positive things to take from this but this 22 and a half years isn't for me. >> from the heart, brandon. we have his baby brother, rodney ward from houston, texas. >> how y'all doing? i would like to thank the protesters, the local protesters in this city.
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i would like to thank the protesters that came out across the city demanding change. we all have one thing in common. we want change from my brother's case. this right here is, this 22-year sentence they gave this man, it's a slap on the wrist. we serving a life sentence does not happen in our life. that hurts me to death. looking at the video of her daughter, sad. he gets a slap on the wrist. nephew said, 22 years from killing her dad that she can't take her to school, he can't eat lunch with her. he can't con ver sate with her. i love my daughter. hugs, we talk. that's my little best friend. i hate to see he cannot have that -- she can't have that connection with her father. those great conversations, those wonderful phone calls. lighten up her face.
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we all need to take together. take our butt to the senate, stand out there and demand the george act be passed and as well as it being passed, put pressure on the senate. i was thinking last night, honestly, we heard obama say this plenty of times. get out and vote. everybody got out and vote and march and we got change. we got our first black president. a lot of people came together, we got this. guess what, we need to take that same energy and bring that back to st the senate and demand them pass the bill. we seen trump numerous times stand up, fussing on camera, numerous times because he did not have the power we thought he had to get something done. he had to call on the senate. we need to get out there and understand that message. go to the senate to put pressure on the senate and get these
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bills and laws passed for all of us. this american flag represents us because we feel it. >> thank you, rodney. as we bring his cousin, please understand, this is only one step in getting accountability in the criminal level. the federal charges are still pending. i do believe that with philonise and terrance and rodney say the maximum, it's still attainable to get maximum accountability for george floyd. maximum accountability for george floyd. maximum accountability for george floyd. maximum accountability for george floyd. maximum accountability for
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george floyd. maximum accountability for george floyd. maximum accountability for george floyd. maximum accountability for george floyd. now you will hear from his cousin. >> hello, everybody. i won't spend a whole lot of time reiterating what my family has said. i think they have spoke el -- eloquently and our thought processes as it relates to the amount of time derek chauvin have been sentenced. i don't think any sentence would be enough. justice for us would be to have george back. i like to take this time to thank the countless number of people who have been supportive of us since the very beginning. i remember when we first came here and talking about the
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sentence and the trial and what the outcome would be. as we sat through the trial and watched the murder over and over again and came back with the three convictions, then we all waited and waited for this day. i will have to say we didn't get what we wanted. we definitely wanted to see the maximum penalty but as they stated we do have the federal ahead of us. we are hoping that we can get some real accountability with him getting a life sentence. lastly, i just want to speak on the policing act. we've had it partially before the senate and i would just say, what echo what every one else said, we need this passed immediately. we need to have some true accountability across the board. thank you. >> before we take a few of your questions, question have his
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cousin tara brown from houston, texas. >> i just want to say my family has spoken a lot about everything that we have gone through since we started this journey. i would tell you it definitely has been a journey for us and as a family, we decided that we were committed to two things for sure. we wanted to make sure that we got some measure of justice for george and for the countless other family who is have lost loved ones in this way that we did. the other thing is that we were committed to making sure that we forced the change that we want to see and create this legacy that will live on forever. just want to say thank you to everybody who has supported us throughout this journey especially the protesters and the activist who is have been nonstop and relentless and
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they've helped us get to this point. this bill needs to get passed. i want to make sure we don't stop with this bill. it's important you hold your states elected officials accountable to that as well. we also looking at the local level where they are making change even if our city where we are from, houston. there's been some changes already. our mayor has banned choke hold and we have qualified immunity is on the table. we are keeping active and make sure you stay in the fight. please keep fighting. thank you. >> thank you, tara. finally, our national leader, reverend al sharpton. >> we'll open up the question for family and all of us. let me say this so you're clear.
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if there is conviction in the federal trial and he is convicted and the other three, that federal time can run after the 22.5 years. it does not have to run concurrent which is why we are saying we still want full justice. secondly, when we talk about the george floyd justice and policing act, we know the difference between two slices of bread and a sandwich. a sandwich has meat between the two slices of bread. don't come down with a compromise that is two slices of bread with no meat in the middle. don't put george floyd's flame, a strong man, on a weak bill. make sure that you talk to those in the family and those of us involved in this struggle before you make any compromise.
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we will be part of the appraiser. questions. >> i have a question for the family. i'd like question to one of the family members who would like to answer. >> what's the question? >> last june, the argument attainment community to take the mantle, any one of the family members can answer why it might be important to them. >> artists. >> philonise will attempt to answer your question. we want to invite other family who is are here who have lost loved ones due to police brutality to come forward. mr. floyd, can you answer that
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question? we may answer that question on the side. okay. question about the case. where's the other families. >> derek chauvin offered condolences to family. she said her son was innocent and people did not know her son. i'm wondering what you thought about those comments. >> i just thought about it as the same thing with my brother. people didn't know who my
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brother was. they labeled him. the trial was all about my brother. it should have been about mr. chauvin. >> we're listening to the end of a press conference there from george floyd's family. i'm going to bring into the conversation someone who is attending that for us. nbc news correspondent. he's been covering the story from the very beginning for us. >> reporter: the family press conference is still ongoing in the distance right there. i'll tell you, this is the area where people gathered to listen to sentencing. it was the same area where about two months ago people gathered to listen to the verdict being read. i'll tell you, the weird moment that you saw as people were listening, sitting down listening to the sentencing, listening to judge cayhill announce that derek chauvin be spend or will be sentenced to 22.5 years. there was an eerie silence that came over the crowd. it's as if they were deciding
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about it in realtime. it was not a loud cheer when the decision was made. it was range of emotions. some people say this is more than what they expected. others, a significant amount of others saying this is not the justice that they were seeking. they were very clear before that sentence was read that they wanted to see the maximum sentence for derek chauvin. right after the sentence was read, i was standing right by the crowd but i saw jacob blake senior, the father of jacob blake in wisconsin shot in the back seven times by a kenosho, wisconsin police officer there. he survivored the shooting and is paralyzed from the waist down but he turned around and i saw tears in his eyes. he was emotional at what he was seeing. he's been with the floyd family for weeks now and months now as this trial has been taking place. he comes and supports them at
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different events. he might be speaking, if he's not speaking now, he was speaking a couple of minutes ago. i got to talk to him right after that sentence was announced. i want you to listens to a bit of the conversation i had with him and the raw emotion you heard from him. >> i don't think people understand the pain that the families that they go through and we never get justice, man. we never get justice, man. we do everything we're supposed to do. we can't find justice, man. why does it allude us? why? >> reporter: that sentiment that you heard from him, why does
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justice allude us? that's something you heard from people here where again, they were wanting to see the maximum sentence put on derek chauvin in is the theme you hear. you see oh names there. you see george floyd at the bottom but you see terrance franklin and dante wright. the point that you have protesters making is they will take what they can get. they will take the sentence that is historically sizable. it's historically significant but the sentence isn't going to bring back george floyd. it's not going to bring back daunte wright. they want more. that's what you heard the family talking about. that's why you hear so many people talking about the george floyd justice and policing act in washington, d.c. and making that as strong as possible. they want something real to come from this. they got something they can walk away with the 22.5 years.
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they want something nor substantial. >> i can't let you go without asking you, you have covered this story for the network now since its earliest days, the first day. what do you think about what happened today? >> reporter: i think it's going to leave people unsatisfied. i think the same feeling you hear from protesters who say they don't want -- this is not enough. they wanted to see more. i think there was no sentence. even if he got 40 years, it would still not be a sense of satisfaction. the emotion is truly expresive of the pain he felt because he thought he was going to lose his son for a period of time. that anger or that emotion, that sadness, intention he felt there, that is what you feel throughout as you go through the community. i think the big point you hear is that it's not that people aren't happy with what they see. it's not as if there's not --
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they can't be satisfied with anything. it's the idea that other people don't understand that there's a systemic issue. there are bigger problems here and it's that lack of understanding that causes so much frustration, that causes so much hurt in the community and it's the fact they have to deal with this over and over and over again. it's hard for me to say how i feel personally. it's something i haven't processed yet. i think the thing i think about is i hope this is not situation i'm covering a year from now or a couple of months from now. i hope there something that leads to preventing something like this from happening again now the judge has sentenced derek chauvin after a jury convicted him of second-degree murder. >> your coverage has been extraordinary. thank you for spending some time with us. i want to bring back into the conversation chuck rosenburg. you have been looking at the written statements that the judge put out. he was -- didn't say much in the courtroom but he does in that
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written statement go through the aggravating factors. one is the cruelty of the crime. talk about what you think. >> yes, i did. i read it on my phone which it's not the best way to read legal documents. my sense is it was careful and thoughtful and let me explain what he did. there were four aggravating factors. four factors that state argued ought to bring the sentence above the aver raj for cases of this type. those four factors were that it was particularlily cruel behavior that chauvin abused a position of trust, that he committed the offense with other persons or offenders and finally that children were present and witnessed what had happened. while the judge said all four factors were present, he was only going to rely on two of them in order to depart upwards from the midpoint of sentencing guideline range. those two, the one you
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mentioned, abuing a position of trust and particularly cruelty. i would urge people to read what the judge wrote. my sense of him during the trial was that he was careful. he was deliberate. he was thoughtful. he let the lawyers try the case. he didn't interject unnecessarily. he seemed like a reasonable and thoughtful person to me. when you read his opinion, that's what you see. you can agree. you can disagree. you can wish he sentenced chauvin to more. you can wish he sentenced chauvin to less. they wills you how he got there. i think it's important while we pause and reflect on this one case and one place and one verdict and one sentence and one defendant to understand how a careful and thoughtful judge does hi job. you may agree, you may disagree but you can see the path to the sentence. that's what e found so interesting about it. >> we will -- chuck said he read that on his phone. we'll have more time to dive into that.
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professor dyson i want to end with you in place where you and i started before the live events took over, and that's the family. his brothers, his cousins. every last one of them has almost an intuitive activism in them. every single one of them coupled their personal pain, their observations about the sentence today that the call for action and the one thing from politics that i know is most powerful, a thank you to the activists themselves. every one of them thanked the activists and called on them to press for passage of the george floyd police reform act. where do you think that depose from here? >> it's great point. i just finished a book on black performance and entertainment. black people became great at
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performance because they were forced to. the reason there's an intuitive grasp of activism because it's been forced upon us. hoisted upon us. we have been forced to grapple with what it means to be an activist. we didn't start out to be that way. tamir rice mom didn't want to do that. george floyd family didn't want to do that. they were forced into that position. forced upon them by historical contingency, by circumstance. when you think about it, i think it's beautiful. i think it's ethically appealing and it's sad at the same time that they have to carry that weight. when i think about what our good brother rosenburg just said, i think he's right in terms of judicial diskrepgs of what the judge did. many of the rulings that were in defense of racism in this country were reasonable, they were rational. they were legally defensible and
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yet they were morally reprehensible. i'm not suggesting by in means this falls into that category but just when you need critical race theory is when you don't have. critical race theory was invented for cases like this, for the law. despite the neutrality and objectivity of the justice system that even interwoven into the very character of rational deliberations is the imprint of bigotry and bias and slanting toward one end and not the other even by using objective and neutral means. i think the family is right. the pressure brought to bear in the larger society must continually rise up. legal decisions will be crafted and shaped by careful men reich -- like this judge, by careful women. it's not is much the time that derek chauvin got, it's the time
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that black people lose in the process of trying to remind america that we're wor tli of the best and the brightest of legal minds and the best and the brightest of american democracy that we shouldn't have to fight for every inch of our lives. those family members are remarkable reminders of the simple valor of ordinary plaque people in defense of ideas that this nation claims to cherish but often deies when extending to us. >> michael eric dyson, chuck rosenberg, thank you so muffle for spending this time with us today. much more on the chauvin verdict coming up. two big stories that we're going to get to starting the the manhattan district attorney's first strike against the ex-president and his business as soon as next week. what could the charges look like and what does it mean for the
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there's major breaking news
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in new york times that will send shock waves through trump world. the manhattan district attorney's office have informed trump's lawyers that's it's considering charges against the entire trump organization. those charges are expected to be announced as soon as next week. in addition to more clarity than we have ever had before, the times explains the significance of their reporting this way. while the prosecutors had been building a case for months, it was not previously known that the company also might face charges. nbc news also confirmed that the trump org is expecting charges as soon as next week.
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the news also heightens the legal jeopardy that trump is facing prernlly. the times writes the indictment could increase pressure to cooperate on mr. weisselberg to testify against trump in exchange for leniency. his intimate knowledge of the trump org, he's worked at the company for decades and one of the top executives when trump was in the white house would make his cooperation an enormous asset to the investigators looking at all aspects of that company. joining our conversation, tom winter. tom, we start with you and your reporting. what's the latest? >> a couple of different things. our understanding of this is this all began yesterday really
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in earnest when the trump organization attorneys met with eight or nine prosecutors from cy vance's office who is the attorney for the trump organization asking them don't file these charges against us. don't file the charges against the trump organization. the prosecutors and the manhattan district attorney's office are kind of circling tax evasion charges potentially against the company for benefits they were provided to allen weisselberg which they did not file the taxes for. that's against the law. that's ournsing is this will be
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filed next week. we don't flow the exact time ofg that. trump organization attorneys have called it completely outrageous that they could consider filing this but i think time will tell once we get it a totality and see the fullness of the charges. the times said they had not previously reported about the trump organization could a potential target for charges. that's something we have previously identified add a target for charges. i'm not speaking with any sort of direct knowledge but from an analysis standpoint, you could go after the company for racketeering, for conspiracy or involving a scheme if this was part of a pattern and practice. we spoke about this when i interviewed jennifer weisselberg, they were looking at other apartments, and she's the former daughter-in-law of
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allen weisselberg. they were looking at apartments gives to her and her then husband. i think this is probably going to be a little bit broader than that but time will tell. the only thing we know for sure the the trump organization that is the heart of the trump family business and former president trump's business is expected to be charged next week. >> your reporting has been fantastic. i want to build on what tom winter is reporting with you dan gold mesne. it sounds as tom winter is reporting, extremely broad. it sounds like an examination of all criminal conduct. is that the right way to think about it? >> i think we need to take with
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a grain of salt what is being foed the new york times by ron. a great defense lawyer who i did a trial against but who is a defense lawyer and will try to shade things if favor of his clients. i think tom's word of caution is very well taken here. i would be very surprised if they charged the trump organization simply with an executive compensation for tax evasion. we know, for example, nicole that the trump organization mislead their books and records and the regulatory authority ons the michael cohen hush money payments. to the extent they are going to be examining books and records charges or tax evasion charges, they will be looking at that. i would expect any indictment would be much broader than what the times is reporting today.
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the other thing that is noteworthy here is a lot of the charges in new york state carry very light penalties. it's interesting to me and it doesn't seem to be coing from the manhattan's da office, it's surprising they would approach the trump organization to tell them they are considering to charge them. that would be almost a death blow to the trump organization. every single bank would call their loans if the trump organization is indicted. no bank will ever do business with an indicted company. there's no way the trump organization has enough capital to pay off all their loans. they would be in default of their loans and would almost certainly have to go into bankruptcy. that's a huge step and there are all sorts of protocol and there's all sorts of evaluation that any prosecutor's office would do before they did that. in this case new york state has
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a memo with five factors and without going through all of them, none of the factors really favor the trump organization. it's not surprising they would approach them with a heads up and engage in settlement negotiations to avoid indictment. >> let me take a half a step back and try to understand this development. it seems that if you take everything that is in public space, michael cohen's sworn testimony, i believe he have on his way to president or on a break in questioning from congresswoman alexandria ocasio-cortez where he testifies and is never questioned to testify falsely that the company regularly, fraudulently claimed valuations. we know from new york times investigating reporting that he's leveraged to the hilt, so much so, that national security official worry it could be
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exposure for a sitting president to have that much debt. are you saying if company is charged criminally, that it is almost surely putting that company on a pathway to bankruptcy? >> i think so. banks have very strict regulations that prevent them from doing business with indicted corporations. they would probably have an out clause in their loan documents that says if a company is indicted they could call their loans right away and there's no way that trump organize could pay off all the loans. this is sort of an end run to get to donald trump in some effect. to at this point acknowledge that right now they don't have the evidence to indict donald trump but they have enough evidence to indict his company
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which would decimate him, at least, financially, so to speak even if it weren't to put him in prison. if allen weisselberg cooperates and i've been said that trump cannot be indicted without allen weisselberg's cooperation. michael cohen is not enough because of some credibility concerns but because he was not intertwined. he was not very involved with the accounting detail, the tax filings, those types of things. you would need someone else who knows that stuff to indict, to cooperate nrd to indict donald trump. allen weisselberg represents the company in its loan application, insurance applications, and tax filings and so certainly he has represented the company would know where all the bodies are buried. >> one more question about what the evidence might look like if they are considering criminal
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charges. no less than the united states supreme court packed with trump appointees made the decision that put donald trump's taxes and all that financial information that he fought and used the entire apparatus of the federal government to keep out. what would the picture look like for them to be considering criminal charges against the ex-president? >> the biggest factor is whether the conduct is pervasive. in order to charge a corporation it's not simply, oh, they misrepresented michael cohen's hush money payments so we're going to charge the company. it would have to be a long duration of years, pervasive and consistent criminal conduct that just made this effectively a
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criminal organization. they don't have to go so far as to prover that but a prosecutor would not bring charges against a corporation without persistent and pervasive misconduct. that's what we're talking about here. tom mentioned state level rico or enterprise construction in new york. that's more difficult to prove than federal rico charges. it does carry a much heftier penalty. i'm curious whether the da's office is really considering a r.i.c.o. charge here because i don't think the charges that will come down against allen weisselberg and the potential jail time which is much lighter than in federal court, i don't think that is going to coerce him to cooperate. that's speculation. no one wants to go to jail for any amount of time but it's entirely possible he would get no jail time at all for whatever he is charged with in new york which doesn't even a bank fraud
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statute. a lot of this gets to be inside baseball. the point is what we're likely going to see if there is an indictment is pervasive conduct by the trump organization with allen as the representative and there might be individual charges against allen weisselberg for getting some unnecessary or unreported benefits from the organization. >> nicole, can i just. >> harold, i want your thoughts on -- go ahead. >> i think it's important and a lot of people have sent me messages on twitter or online are saying it's not donald trump. we all thought that they were going to head down path of trying to indict allen weisselberg. my analysis different from reporting, my analysis of this by the manhattan district attorney's office is it's a brilliant move.
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i doubt the trump organization saw this coming as a first step. maybe as a final step but fwhot as a first step. when you start to bust up a company, i think dan is keying on something very important here. the impact this can have on trump's business, when you start to break up a company, who else starts to come out of the wood work or if your bread is no longer buttered by the trump args rgs what do you think about from your personal, legal calculus. that's something we'll have to closely follow next week as we see the charges. >> i'm so glad you brought us back to that. i had the feeling when i saw this news breaking and saw tom winter's reporting sort of come to light that maybe we were reading the wrong tea leaves. all we have are tea leaves and when it's reported they are pursuing weisselberg, you follow the only clues you have. what if the target was the company all along for the very reasons tom and dan are
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suggesting. can you put in context, what's the history of criminal charges against companies and what usually happens to them? >> okay. it is a matter of a continuing pattern of activity. way of doing business. second, if they do it r.i.c.o., they still charge individuals and i think weisselberg will be charged. saying if you don't do this, we're going to indict. indicting the company means much more serious charges against weisselberg. the penalties go from five years to 20 years. also much more serious against the company instead of criminal finds, they have to pay everything back. all the ill gotten gains. i think this is still a matter of going like a fright train right at weisselberg.
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he will be also charged, if they charge the organization but if they charge the organization, they get to put in more evidence. show a continuing pattern and bring them out of business too. that's what they are telling weisselberg now. trump doesn't want it to happen but this is their end game against weiss l burg. you cooperate or we're indicting you and not just you but on a racketeering charge involving a continuing pattern of activity. >> there was some reporting that one of the trump org officials, i believe he was to see someone that seem like they would have weisselberg title but didn't, make the coo had been asked to get his own counsel. would that have been one of the clues there was the direction prosecutors were heading? >> i think so.
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i believe the guy you're talking about had already testified and under new york law that means he got immunity. i really see this as basically about weisselberg because as dan says, weisselberg is the only path to the very top. i still think that is the game they're playing and they are now putting their cards down, which they have to do if they want to finish everything by the end of december when vance says guys, enough fooling around. next week and we're not talking about a little fringe benefit. we're talking about a continuing pattern of criminal activity and time that will put you in jail for the rest of your life. >> unbelievable development. no three people that i would rather talk to about it. thank you so much for spending some time with us today. when we return, the biden justice department finally steps up in the fight to save democracy with the big important move today against the highly
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restrictive voter suppression law in state of georgia. that's next. we continue after a quick break. don't go anywhere. r a quick bre. don't go anywhere. ♪ sometimes you wanna go ♪ ♪ where everybody knows your name ♪ ♪♪ ♪ and they're always glad you came ♪ welcome back, america. it sure is good to see you. when i get a migraine, i shut out the world. but with nurtec odt that's all behind me now. nurtec can now treat and prevent migraines. don't take if allergic to nurtec. the most common side effects were nausea, stomach pain, and indigestion. ask your doctor about nurtec today.
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violation of section two of the voing rights act. where we believe the civil rights of americans have been violated, we will not hesitate to act. sgla the biden administration delivering on its promise to step up in fight against voter suppression laws spreading like wide fire in state legislatures all across this country. the doj jump sboog the fray in georgia suing that state for its voting restrictions described by as republicans there as predicated on the big lie designed to create obstacles for democrat voters. it could represent the beginning of the beginning for the justice department's efforts on this front. the georgia law passed in march just months after the capitol insurrection and the ex-president's attempt to over turn the election was the tip of the sphere. the state an early flash point in what's turned into an all out
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war for the very future of our democracy. the bill this curbs the use of absentee ballots lets them seize control of lek boards. it even makes it a crime to hand out food and water to people waiting in line to vote. it was referred to by the new york times in a comprehensive analysis as quote a breathtaking assertion of partisan power, making absentee voing harder and creating restrictions in the wake of narrow loss to democrats. chris ten clark calling the law an attack on the voting rights of people of color. >> after a historic election that saw record voter turn out across the state, particularly for absentee voting which black voters are now more likely to use than white voters, our complaint challenges several provisions of sb 202 on the grounds they were adopted with
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the intent to deny or abridge black citizens equal access to the political process. >> joining our conversation, new york times justice department reporter katie joins us and jason johnson at morgan state university and a contributor to the grio. take us through today's announcement first and we'll talk about what comes next. >> sure. what the justice department did today is it said we're going to fight what happened in georgia. it was really big deal for the biden administration fwhauz is the first time it has been moved in an enforcement manner to deliver on its promise to push back on restrictive voter laws. what the justice department did in its lawsuit said georgia had the intent of discriminating against black voters. under the voting rights act, the justice department doesn't have to prove georgia's intent. it could argue the law in its
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totality has the affect of discriminating which would be good enough to push back. the justice department is being more aggressive. it's going one step further and say lawmakers had the intent of disenfranchising black voters. >> my question about what happens next is rooted the if fact your own colleague reported the texas law is even more i greejous in that category. does the department plan to sue texas next? >> this is one of the things that was asked about the press conference and the attorney general said they will look at the fact and the law and hen they saw that states have violated the voter rights act, they will act. he's basically signaling that states should be weary, should be mindful the justice department is watching them and not afraid to take action. also keep in mind these lawsuits take an extraordinarily long time to win their way through the courts. certainly no matter what the decision is, it will be
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appealed. in the meantime there will be election that is are held under these restrictive voting laws. this is also a real test of whether or not the justice department enforcement action will be taken as a signal to states to hem restrictive votin laws. we saw georgia's governor brian kemp came out and say listen to the department of state, the justice department is coming for you. more aggressive when it comes to passing these restrictive voter laws. >> i want to pick up on katie's point. this is the audacity, being a republican in this era. this is kemp's statement. i am going to stop right there. he talks about lies and misinformation. his state's lieutenant governor said the same thing about their
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voter suppression laws. they perfected the politics of projection. >> not only that, remember the secretary of state and his whole family is being threatened and people threatening brian kemp. if we look at this in a political way, this is amazing things for brian kemp. he gets to run for all the trumpers, see, biden is after me. i am a hero. this saves him. quite frankly, i was putting his chances at 50/50 getting his party nomination next year. they are afraid of briankemp verses stacey abrams. it is also good strategy on tp part of the biden administration. i think there is a reason you would go after georgia instead of texas. democrats won georgia in 2020. raphael warnock is up for reelection in 2022. if there is a place they want to marshal their resources over the next 18 months, it is the state
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of georgia because they don't want to lose that seat. i think it is a great move, slow hand clap for the department of justice, i hope it is the beginning. i don't think it is going to in intimidate any state's laws. >> texas has not passed its laws yet. that may be something that keeps them from filing a suit there. democrats walked out depriving republicans quorum. here is a list of where my team is suing.
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a barrage of lawsuits alleging voter fraud were brought and although nearly of all the lawsuits were dropped, dismissed. in particular during the subcommittee hearing, lawyers played misleading footage of black fulton county election workers tabulating ballots. although these allegations have been debunked by the secretary state of office. >> the justice department's clerks to everyone should be opaquely. they have been watching bogus contention. they're trying to bring some of that to bare in the lawsuit. do you think that'll work,
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jason? >> i hope it does. depending on what judge you run into. we see examples of ruling, hey look you are going to throw out these laws, we have seen judges rule that look, there is nothing wrong with creating policy that makes it harder for your opponent party to get voters out as long as we don't think that's specific about race. this is about democratic voters and they can do that. i hope that the justice department can draw a straight line from the big lie to the insurrection to roethlisberger through all of this. i hope they can show the motivation behind these laws is dishonest. it depends on which judge they end up with and how far the system goes in 18 months.
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>> the lawsuit today also references the comments i referenced at the beginning. jeff duncan said "this is the fallout from the ten weeks of misinformation of donald trump. i went back to look back and gain momentum. it started when rudy giuliani showed up in committee rooms and spreading misinformation." our viewers only saw that in "snl." it is part of the piece from rudy giuliani lost his law license. talk about including the lies in the case they are making here. >> the justice department have been clear when they talk about voter suppression, not only in this case but in the speech mayor garland gave two weeks ago. they're looking at the broader picture of how these laws get passed and part of that is instilling a belief from people that something bad happens that
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necessitates the law in the first place. they're going to be issuing guidance around several things including misinformation, they'll be looking at audits that are happening o r questionable based on this information. they're going to be looking at tax on poll workers. it is based on erroneous false statements made by president trump and his allies around georgia. and so they are being clear that misinformation is at the heart of so much of what we are seeing in terms of voter suppression. >> we'll stay on it, katie benner and jason johnson, thank you for spending your time with us on this short breaking news.
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thank you very much for letting us in to your home during that extraordinary time. ari melber is with us with "the beat." >> the trump organization is formally indicted by next week. if that's familiar sounding because we reported some of that earlier this month. we have special guests including an insider, a prodijay that's making that call. breaking news out of minneapolis, george floyd's murder sentence.


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